The Texans have four key needs right now.
Last week at the NFL Annual Meetings, Bill O'Brien met with the media and was asked what worried him the most about his 2015 squad.
The head coach quickly said "worried" wasn't a correct word to use, and then he pinpointed four areas where the Texans need to "get better".
1. Kickoff and punt returns: O'Brien mentioned special teams first, and focused primarily on the return game and covering returns. The Texans were 31st out of 32 teams last season in yards per punt
return with 6.1. Only the Chicago Bears were worse.
They weren't much better on kickoff return average, picking up 21.1 yards per kickoff return. That was the 29th-best mark in the NFL.
When covering punts, the Texans again ranked 31st in the League. Opponents averaged 12.4 yards per punt return. Kickoffs return yardage allowed was a bit better, but still in the bottom third of the NFL. The Texans gave up 26 yards per kickoff return, putting them in 25th place.
"We've gotta get better on special teams," O'Brien said. "We're looking for, whether it's in the draft or the rest of whatever's left of free agency, can we find some guys? Maybe it's a returner. Maybe it's a guy that can cover kicks."
Speed on special teams can go a long way in helping punter Shane Lechler and kicker Randy Bullock, both of whom have strong legs.
2. Offensive line depth: The likely starters, left to right, on the offensive line are Duane Brown, Xavier Su'a-Filo, Ben Jones, Brandon Brooks and Derek Newton.
That quintet, along with former center Chris Myers, got the lion's share of snaps last season.
Tyson Clabo came off the bench for 99 offensive snaps, and Jeff Adams was in the game for a pair of offensive snaps. Nobody else from a group that includes Cody White, Will Yeatman, David Quessenberry, and practice squadders James Ferentz, Matt Feiler and Bryan Witzmann saw regular season game action.
3. More wide receivers: DeAndre Hopkins led the team with 1,210 receiving yards.
Andre Johnson is gone.
Cecil Shorts, III was added in free agency.
Damaris Johnson re-signed in free agency.
O'Brien will look to layer in more help at that position, "continuing to do, probably through the draft, a good job of filling in the wide receiver position."
This year's Draft features what's been described as a bumper crop of pass-catchers.
4. Safety first: At cornerback, both starters in Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson are under
contract. So are A.J. Bouye, Darryl Morris and Jumal Rolle.
At safety, the team added Rahim Moore and lost Kendrick Lewis. D.J. Swearinger, Eddie Pleasant and Lonnie Ballentine are under contract as well.
O'Brien said he wanted "to build depth in the secondary, especially at the safety position". Danieal Manning was on the team last season, but is now an unrestricted free agent. The Texans will look to bolster this spot perhaps in the Draft, as well as in free agency.